Hub Sites in SharePoint Online

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Introduction to Hub Sites

Hub sites in SharePoint are special types of sites designed to connect and organize other sites within an organization. They provide a centralized navigation experience across associated sites, making it easier for users to find information and resources. Hub sites allow for consistent branding, ensuring a cohesive look and feel throughout the organization's SharePoint environment. They also aggregate content such as news, events, and activities from associated sites, offering a consolidated view of important information. The search experience is scoped to the hub and its associated sites, improving search relevance. Additionally, hub sites facilitate connections between related sites, promoting collaboration and information sharing across different departments or projects. Security and permissions are inherited from associated sites, simplifying management, and ensuring consistency.

Hub sites offer flexibility and scalability, allowing organizations to associate multiple sites with a hub site and reassign sites to different hubs as needed. This makes hub sites particularly useful for organizations with many SharePoint sites, as they streamline site management and enhance the user experience. They are a great alternative and replacement to subsites that were used in the legacy implementation scenarios, and that we are gradually decommissioning in favor of hub sites.

Practical Use Examples

Example 1: Corporate Intranet

A common use case for Hub Sites is to organize a corporate intranet. For instance, a Hub Site can serve as the central intranet portal for an organization, with associated sites for different departments such as HR, IT, and Marketing. This setup not only enhances navigation between departmental content but also ensures a consistent corporate identity across the intranet.

Example 2: Project Management

Hub Sites can also be instrumental in managing projects. By creating a Hub Site for a specific project, you can connect sites dedicated to various project components or teams. This approach enables centralized project communication, document sharing, and progress tracking.

Configuration Steps

Creating and configuring a Hub Site in SharePoint Online involves several key steps. We will demonstrate here how to create the hub site, associate an existing site to it, and verify that changes the top link bar URLs that are made available at the hub are reflected on the member site, which is one of the functionality the use of hub sites allow to do.

1. Navigate to your tenant’s SharePoint Admin Center by using the appropriate URL - https://[your tenant name]

2. Expand Sites and select Active Sites:

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3. Choose an existing site to convert into a Hub Site (or create a new site) by clicking on Register as a hub site in the Hub menu:

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4. Enter a name for the Hub Site and specify additional settings as required, and click on Save to create your Hub Site:

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5. Notice your site will be converted as a hub site, and click Close:

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6. At this point, check the site you wish to associate with the Hub Site, and select Associate with a hub in the Hub menu:

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7. Select your Hub Site to which you want your current site to be associated with from the dropdown list and click on Save:

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8. Notice the association has completed successfully:

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9. Browse to the hub site that we have converted recently by accessing its URL in its properties:

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10. Now, we will customize the main navigation bar links of the hub site to be reflected on the associated sites by clicking on the member sites by clicking on Edit

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11. Click on the plus sign and specify the address, the display name of the link, and click on OK to ensure the changes are applied at that level:

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12. Click on Save to close the link menu editor:

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13. By visiting the member site, you will notice the link has appeared in the navigation bar at the top, proving a hub site is designed to provide consistency across member sites:

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Hub Sites in SharePoint Online offer a powerful solution for organizing and managing sites within an organization. By leveraging Hub Sites, businesses can enhance collaboration, improve information discovery, and maintain a cohesive digital workplace. Whether for a corporate intranet or project management, the practical applications of Hub Sites are vast and varied.

For professionals looking to deepen their understanding of SharePoint Online and explore advanced features like Hub Sites, Eccentrix provides comprehensive IT training, such as the SharePoint Online Management and Administration (MS55370) course. With expert-led courses and hands-on practice, Eccentrix equips you with the skills needed to effectively implement and manage SharePoint Online in your organization.